Shay James, a director of Redditch-based Amencon Ltd, which has since ceased trading, was appointed by Bovis Homes to carry out an asbestos survey of a factory unit in the city’s Humberstone Lane – earmarked to become a new housing development.
In July and August 2008, James carried out the survey with an employee but failed to identify 1,252 sq m of asbestos insulation board and lagging.
As a result, part of the building containing the board and lagging was demolished without putting proper asbestos management processes in place.
Fortunately, the company employed to carry out the demolition noticed suspicious material that was identified as asbestos during the process, and work was stopped immediately.
Shay James of Albert Street, Redditch pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,348.
HSE inspector Stephen Farthing said: “Although Mr James is a trained asbestos surveyor, a very poor survey was carried out which missed large quantities of AIB and lagging.
“This resulted from his failure to ensure they had adequate lighting or access equipment to conduct the survey.
“As a consequence, a building was demolished that contained asbestos and contractors were put at risk from exposure which is completely unacceptable.
“The dangers of asbestos are well known and contractors should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any firm that ignores the law in this way.”